Friday, October 31, 2008

Colorado High Country Grouse

I always count the days through the Summer until the Blue Grouse opener here in Colorado. The Grouse opener marks the official start of the upland hunting season for me and September is breath taking in the high country where the Blues reside.
As Fall approaches the birds begin their migration up to the pockets of dark timber where they will Winter and subsist on the needles of the Douglas Fir. You might assume that these birds would be low on the culinary scale with their diet of evergreen needles, but in fact Blues are second only to Quail on the table in my opinion. The Blue Grouse are the only animals in the high country to actually migrate higher through the Winter, and my favorite hunting location for them is at or above11,000 feet.

Blue Grouse hunting is challenging due to the steepness of the terrain and the elevation they inhabit. The only places I found Grouse to be numerous were areas that are not accessible to motorized access. This means hiking in to some of the most remote and beautiful places in the high country. Though Grouse typically inhabit the dark timber, the birds will concentrate in the evening out in open parks around the berry bushes and grasshoppers that occur there. This makes for a great hunting opportunity for a pointing dog as the birds will hold well when caught out in the open.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to Blog land Tim! Way to represent the Wasted I mean Western Slope...